Looking at the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service 2011 statistics for the 13 towns in the NW Bergen area, I’m wondering if maybe the North Jersey real estate market has hit bottom and 2012 will be the year we begin to rebound.
Real estate is local, and the national reports aren’t always relevant to what’s happening in a specific area.
Here in NW Bergen last year, the number of sales, average and median prices, and sale-price/list-price ratio were all slightly down from the previous year, while days on market went up slightly. The bottom line is that, on average, in 2011 not as many homes sold, and the ones that did took slightly longer and sold for less than ones that sold in 2010.
Have we hit bottom?? Of course we won’t know what “bottom” is until prices start heading back up. I can’t speak for the whole area, but for me, personally, business is definitely picking up. Through December and now into January, the number of calls I’m receiving from potential buyers and sellers has markedly increased over previous months. I think a lot of homeowners have finally come to terms with where the market is, and they’ve put off selling long enough. As for buyers, who knows how long interest rates and prices are going to remain this low, so to put off buying any longer is likely to cause regrets down the road.
Of course there are so many factors that play into the eventual recovery — how the European markets affect interest rates here, the shadow inventory of foreclosed homes that yet to hit the market, unemployment, consumer confidence, etc.
But I’m an optimist. Being in this business over 22 years, I have been through the up markets and the down markets. It always turns around. Based on how much my phone is ringing, I’m thinking that 2012 is going to bring the start of this market’s turnaround
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